Feeds

Outgoing info chief predicts data collection downturn

Suggests UK.gov use uberdatabases as comfort blankets

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The outgoing information commissioner has predicted that government will reverse the trend to collect more personal data.

Richard Thomas made the forecast as part of his farewell speech at a conference in London organised by his office. He said it reflects a growing awareness of the need for a balance between security and liberty in collecting and sharing data.

"Sometimes public bodies take false comfort in mass data collection," he said, citing the example of the National Identity Scheme and the ContactPoint children's database. "It shows too much trust without being aware of the risks and demands of doing so."

He looked at the situation metaphorically by saying: "If you are looking for a needle in a haystack, it does not make sense to make the haystack bigger".

Thomas said the tide is now turning against data collection. "I think we will see less instinctive centralisation and less government collection of personal data in future years," he said.

He also said the Freedom of Information Act, which came into full effect at the beginning of 2005, has helped in making the issues of transparency and openness part of the political debate in the UK. This has been despite a resistance to it within parts of the public sector. He acknowledged during a discussion that some organisations have delayed their responses to information requests for unacceptably long periods.

Thomas, who has been information commissioner since 2002, said he is leaving a "holding strategy" on freedom of information for his successor, Christopher Graham.

"It's an overall framework for discharging the office's responsibility in this area," he said. "My successor will change it as he thinks appropriate."

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.